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McChouffe | Brasserie d'Achouffe

very good
526 Reviews
For Trade:

Brewed by:
Brasserie d'Achouffe
Belgium | website

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
ABV varies from time to time.

Added by Mitchster on 09-22-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 526 | Ratings: 1,064
Photo of TheBierdimpfe
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thick cloudy copper color, with a red hue, very active, and chunks of floating yeast. Frothy light brown 3 finger head, lasting around 10-15 minutes, with thick legs. Flavors of dark berries, plums, cherries, nuts, cheese, wild yeast, dark grains, wood, herbal spices, faint coffee and chocolate. Highly sugary, with soft sharpness, and bitter herbs. Slick light body with crispy carbonation. Strong but pleasant finish, vinous and dry, lingering sour fruits with a barrel aged feel. Good as an appetizer. Bad freshness, deadly yeast. Decent flavors and a balanced feel. Overall good quality craft. Too much yeast, disgusting huge chunks, maybe a bad bottle?

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Photo of teromous
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brown body that is opaque but hazy where light shines through. Short eggshell white head that fades out to a fluffy ring. The ring does leave good lacing on the glass.

Aroma: There is a very faint raisin aroma but it is barely there. I pick up a touch of brown sugar too but again it is hard to even pick that up.

Taste: Thankfully there is more flavor than there is aroma. I get a big bite of brown sugar and cinnamon with some light anise or licorice flavor. It has a very spicy character to it. At times I feel that it is giving off some pepper flavor and I get a bit of clove.

Mouthfeel: It feels a bit thin and slightly under-carbonated.

Overall: This beer lacks the fruitiness that you would normally find in a Belgian Strong Dark Ale but it is clear that from the name it is designed to be something wholly different. The label indicates as much not only in the name but in the statement that it was "inspired by the tale of a Scottish Chouffe who along with his Belgian friend created an eccentric 'new style' Scottish Ale/Abbey Ale." Leaving the traditional boundaries of style guidelines alone this beer delivers a nice spicy ale that would be perfect for a Christmas Beer. If I was in the mood for a more traditional Belgian Strong Dark Ale this wouldn't do the trick but it certainly would work well as a spicy fall or winter beer.

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Photo of AleMan66
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I drank this straight from the bottle in the dark, so I didn't have a chance to see the color. It smelled great but the smell itself didn't tell me the beer is anything special; the taste did. It is a great brown ale! Love it! It warrents the the cost of almost $3 per bottle that I paid. I will buy it again. My score for this beer might be higher if I had seen the beer and had a better sense of smell.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I think I lost my previous review of this before I could post it - I know I drank it before.

It's a pretty dark brown with nice little head, just as it should be. The aroma is cool - a sweet dark malty smell.

The taste matches - very slightly tart, slightly toasted malts, bready and yeasty. The aftertaste lingers with more of the same, Long times. It is milder and easier drinking than many of this style yet it does not wimp out.

Like other brews from these guys, this totally works and it is a great example of the style.

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Photo of matuto
4.68/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

330 ml bottle (exp. 04/2017) in a Leffe tulip. Dark brown liquid with beautiful tones when put against light. Some particles of all sizes may be seen. Foam shortly recedes to a thin layer that leaves some laces. Sweet aroma of a delicate caramel. Some fruitiness, resembling bananas, makes presence both on aroma and flavor. I don't mind serving with the bottom sediments from the bottle, and in this case I think the subtle sourness and bitterness on mouth comes from those. Light body and smooth upfront.

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Photo of barczar
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2010 vintage, so rating set to current average.

Aroma is laden with raisin, fig, dates, and prunes.

Flavor is less stellar, fairly flat by comparison. Big toffee malt aftertaste.

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Photo of janubio
3.13/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Deep hazy brown colour with a small off white head that holds for a while, leaving reing and lace. Smell of toffee, pepper, dark fruits, rather a mess when it's hard to detect much. Medium body, good carbonation. Taste is peppery, caramel, chocolate, dark fruits. I expected a little bit more, but I'll give another try whenever I can find it.

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Photo of Evilyak
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown. Thin, wet lacing.

Smell is fruity but thin.

Bit of bubblegum in the taste. Mildly sweet.

Mouth is carbonated and pleasant.

Nothing remarkable, but comfortable and easy to consume.

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Photo of JMS1512
4.31/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On the docket: 750ml bottle of Brasserie d'Achouffe’s McChouffe, bottle date: best before end of 2015. Seems like I’m cutting it close.

Poured into: Etched Chimay Goblet

S: An initial mass of beige-gray head, thick and puffy forms. Underneath, a dark, burnt-sienna body sits, with an orange tint at the base. Tiny bubbles snake up to the top. Eventually, the head dies down to a thin cap on top, bubbles populating the head, sort of like soap.

A: Fruity esters immediately wend their way into your nose, laddie. Ef ya couple that with some yeasty bubblegum and a bit of caramelized malt, you have the knack of it. The hops, while muted, are spicy and earthy. It’s entertaining to smell, the sweetness being a draw factor here.

T: Some of the aroma carries over into the taste. The fruit here is dark and plummy, but gentle. A spot of hay, or husk, sweet caramel, a definite melanoidin tang like that of a Scotch ale, and a bit of spice and earth from the hops.

F: Tingly carbonation, chewy mouthfeel, fluffy. Deceptively light bodied. A kiss of warming alcohol on the end, more pronounced as it warms up (at 8.0%, it’s certainly prudent to exercise a dram of caution. A finish that sticks around.

O: Though the brewery calls this beer a brown ale, and while they’re not exactly wrong, I feel that comes up short in describing this one. Picture the offspring of Gerard Butler and Ellen Petri (go ahead and look her up, I had to, too) in a beer, and this is much closer to the mark. There are equal parts Scotch ale and Belgian Strong Dark in here, and they combine to make something that while new, is evident of its parents. This is a pleasure to sip and meditate on; much like the upcoming celebration of our Lord’s birth.

S: 4 A: 4.25 T: 4.5 F: 4 O: 4.25

Suggested food pairing: Molasses grilled barbecue ribs, beef Szechuan, sharp cheddar cheese, crème brûlée

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a signature Chouffe tulip glass.

Appearance: Dark brown color with cloudy body, head is off-white and comes off slightly thick. Rose to a about notch or so above a finger's length.

Smell: Light yeast scent not going anywhere.

Taste: Smooth bready taste that reminds you of raisins and almonds. Has a light sweet note to the brew.

Mouth: Medium to heavy carbonation with extra bubbles to body.

Overall: Very good brew, unfortunately I had little to enjoy and review it. I read some reviews prior to writing my own but one thing you have to keep in mind is that some might call this brew average but it delivers a lot considering the price. To get quality for this price is worth it. Factor that in your reviews. Salud!

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Photo of Arthuros
3.91/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Your typical Belgian dark, similar to a Chimay Red.

Deep dark brown with reddish hints, stiff nose with touches of coffee and caramel. Overall, though, light malt taste with some sweetness, underlying simple hop flavors.

Again, typical Belgian dark, nothing fancy.

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Photo of biegaman
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

McChouffe - La Chouffe's darker cousin - is indeed as brown as the standard gnome is blonde (though both share a white top that bubbles like a pot boiling over on the stove). The colour looks light enough to allow for clarity or at very least highlights but, surprisingly, neither is observed.

Most Belgian ales smell either like the yeast is throwing a tantrum or someone doused the malts in brown sugar - neither is really the case here. This is a rare case of a Belgian aroma leaving the nose turning up blanks. Well, not quite blanks, but the chewy toffee and nutmeg notes take some work to find.

McChouffe, like many Belgian ales, could be accused of being too sweet and too carbonated. Both qualities mellow with age (and contribute to the aging ability) but, when fresh like this bottle, perhaps give the impression of a thin and hollow brew. I know better than that, but it was my first impression.

Mind you, that bright carbonation is intended to counter all the dark sweetness; notes of raisins, treacle, and dates aren't able to stick around for long as bubbles give them the bum's rush. As result, despite initial figgy and syrupy undertones, the beer finishes nearly tasteless, bone-dry and sans-alcohol.

I love brunes - more than blondes in fact - but truth be told I much prefer the classic La Chouffe to its darker counterpart. Not that this isn't a perfectly quaffable, digestible, flavorful offering in its own right (because it is) but just not enough so to warrant the same iconic, style-defining, must-have status.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ML bottle into a tulip. It pours hazy dark amber to reddish under a 1” light tan foam collar that provides sheets of lace. Caramel malt with traces of chocolate on the nose and palate with a bitter hop accent on the finish. The Belgian body and carbonation really accentuates the flavors.

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Photo of beer488
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper color, like a cola. Scent of roasted malt, and sweet malt. Medium bodied and fizzy on the palate. Some chocolaty bitterness balanced by a sweetness. Sweet malt on the finish. Strong ale at 8%.

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Photo of JasW
4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Spiegelau tulip with a huge, fluffy three finger head that dissipated fairly rapidly, leaving moderate lacing. A yeasty musty nose. Taste is yeast, very light fruit for the style, with an unusual and unusually pleasing prominent undertone of nuts. Mouthfeel is top notch for the style. BSDA fan? This is a must.

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Photo of damndirtyape
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle served in a Gordon's Highland Scotch Ale thistle glass. Poured slow leaving the sediment behind.

Appearance: Dark clear amber. Persistent 1/4" rocky tan head. Persistent thick strands of lacing.

Smell: Fruit (grape, plum), caramel, and a hint of metal.

Taste: Toasted/caramelized malt, Belgian candi sugar, fruity esters, bready-yeasty pastry-like sweetness, raisins, and a finish which is part noble hop, part English-style bittering hops.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated, but not fizzy. Scrubs the tongue clean. Some stickiness on the teeth noted.

Overall / Drinkability: This is indeed a blend of a Scottish Ale and Belgian Dark Ale in style. A fine sipping beer all by itself, I think it would go well with some food also....and not just dessert, but the sweetness of this beer might limit what it can pair with. Not sure. Regardless, I'll have to pick this one up again - very nice.

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Photo of Andrewharemza
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear brownish red with small off white head. Aromas of sweet malts and fruits. Flavor had caramel, brown sugar, toffee, plum. Full body, creamy texture, average carbonation, pretty easy finish.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured from a 33 cl bottle into a pint glass, muddy brown colored with a short white head that dissipates leaving little lacing, cloudy

S: raisins, dark fruits, cherries, brown sugar, baked bread

T: dark malty grains, pumpernickel bread, raisins, fig

M: medium to heavy with prickly carbonation

O: a nice yeasty brown ale with well hidden alcohol

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Photo of drmeto
3.38/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

-pours a hazy dark copper with a medium,foamy,off-white head
-high carbonation visible
-cherries,caramel,toffee,bready,brown sugar
-caramel,toffee,bready,black pepper,plums,raisins
-medium body,medium-high carbonation
Certainly better than my first "Scotch Ale".Still not doig all that much for me.

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Photo of PlutonowyManiek
3.1/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The color is dark red, burgundy, cloudy.
The foam off-white, built of small and medium-sized bubbles. Unfortunately quite quickly subsides.
Mc Chouffe aroma is clearly malty, caramel, are also plums and hop grass.
The taste is unfortunately very weak. A little plums, caramel and a little bit of everything.
Gentian imperceptible. As for me, saturation far too high. When it comes to alcohol it is bad, completely not laid rejects. I must say that unfortunately I did not drink this beer with pleasure.

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Photo of kitch
4.57/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 330ml bottle dated best before September 2016 poured into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: It poured a medium to dark brown with a slight reddish tint. One finger creamy tanned head with nice looking bubbles that dissipated slowly leaving nice stringy lacing.

Aroma: Main aromas of dark fruits of fig and raisins along with some pear and grapes. As it warms, the grape smell became really prominent.

Taste: Strong tastes of dark candied fruits, plum, fig, grapes and raisins with hints of caramel and brown sugar.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium to high carbonation.

Overall: Overall, this was very good. Both the smell and flavours actually improve as it gets warmer. It is not too sweet and I especially enjoyed the dark fruit flavours. This is so close to being a must buy beer for me.

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Photo of Mike_Aguirre
4.76/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Great belgian strong dark ale, very affordable and easy to find. Someone told me it was a blend with a scottish style because the character in the label has those pants, but I don´t know.

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Photo of ehilderbrand
4.61/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Delicious brew, as with most A'Chouffe brews. McChouffe is the one I am most partial to, as I prefer a darker beer on average. Great mouthfeel, nice head on it when poured into a tulip. The nose is very rich.

Need to track more down, hard to find in Western Pennsylvania.

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Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330ml brown Belgian style curved bottle with fantastic Gnome artwork this one being the Scottish chouffe looking to blend his style with a Belgian classic. Poured into a d'achouffe stemmed tulip.

A - murky brown with hints of ruby mahogany in the light. Some nice sized funk and yeast particles floating around let's me know I'm in for a treat. Soft white head poured lovely, quickly settling into a thin pillow of lacing leaving small splotches of stick.

S - dark fruits with fig and raisin. Belgian spices, sweet scottish style malt and a fantastic Belgian yeast note.

T - more going on than the nose would suggest with fig, raisin, grape, and flashes of candied dark fruit. The malt backbone really gives a Scottish ale character and sweetness paired nicely with Belgian spices and a wonderful yeast strain. Hints of soft vanilla, sweet caramel, and sugar only add to the Scottish - Belgian display.

M - medium bodied and smooth. Perfectly balanced with malt and Belgian spices. There is a Scottish style here not only with color but with flavor. It's not your traditional belgian strong dark ale but really the best of both worlds. Absolutely fantastic flavors pop as this warms.

O - this is truly one of a kind. Sure, it's a Belgian ale, but it's a Belgian ale brewed in tribute to the Scottish ale that's sometimes over looked yet still remains a very nice Belgian dark ale that's big enough to pack some great flavor. This has since found its way into my glass on a regular basis and I'd recommend this to anyone.

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Photo of delta490
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Depending on how cold you keep your fridge, this needs a few to warm up a little to let all the goodness open up. Pours a dark, murky brown with a fizzy tan head that burns off quickly. There is no lacing. The aroma starts out a little tight, with some pleasant dark fruit notes but really comes out a little warmer with some nice caramel notes and more robust fruits. The body has a nice weight, not heavy or thin and a smooth finish.

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McChouffe from Brasserie d'Achouffe
89 out of 100 based on 526 ratings.